Bryan Ferry, Countryside Alliance supporter and father of drink-drive Otis Ferry, has praised the marketing and presentation skills of the Nazi regime.
“My God, the Nazis knew how to put themselves in the limelight and present themselves,” he gushed to the German magazine Welt am Sonntag. “I’m talking about Leni Riefenstahl’s movies and Albert Speer’s buildings and the mass parades and the flags – just amazing. Really beautiful.”
Riefenstahl made a series of propaganda films for Hitler, while leading Nazi official Speer, whose architecture was designed to epitomise the glory of the Third Reich, was found guilty of war crimes at the Nuremberg trials and sentenced to 20 years behind bars.
Ferry, 61, also revealed that he referred to his recording studio as ‘the fuhrerbunker’.
The interview sparked a mass of criticism from across the community, with calls for Marks & Spencer to drop him as a model. M&Sp sought to distance itself from the row.
“We do not make comment on the private lives of any individuals that we work with nor does our commercial relationship with them mean we endorse any views they may hold,” the group said in a statement. It had no further comment.
Andrew Dismore, Labour MP for Hendon, said: “He has not withdrawn what he said. In praising Nazi art, he insults the memory of all those artists murdered by the Nazis for not towing the line.
“He has said nothing about his studio being called the ‘fuhrerbunker’, nor about the timing around Yom HaShoah which adds insult to injury. Marks and Spencer have not disassociated themselves from his remarks. Its founding fathers must be turning in their graves.”
Bryan Ferry will be appearing at a fundraiser for the Countryside Alliance next month.